National Center for Health Research - The Voice for Prevention, Treatment, and Policy

The National Center for Health Research conducts, analyzes, and explains the latest research and works with patients, consumers, and opinion leaders to use that information to improve their own health and to develop better programs, policies, and services.

  • We conduct research that has the potential to improve health care.
  • We translate research findings into free information and training that can be used to improve health and safety to individuals and communities nationwide.
  • We work with the media to help get the word out to those who will most benefit from it.
  • We educate policy makers, policy analysts, and opinion leaders through briefings, hearings, meetings, and written materials based on the information.
  • We share our publications and information with other organizations, researchers, and advocates.
  • We coordinate and strategize with them, working together to inform the public and be part of the public debate on policy issues.
  • We use that information effectively to improve the health of adults and children.

News You Can Use

Our New Report:  Is TMS Proven Effective for Depression
November 27, 2018

Transcranial magnetic stimulation (TMS) devices have stimulated the brains of tens of thousands of patients in the United States, often as a treatment for depression that hasn’t responded to other treatment.  TMS treatment typically costs $300 per session, usually 5 days/week for four to six weeks.  And yet, there is no clear evidence that this very expensive treatment works or is more beneficial than the much less expensive and more convenient antidepressant medications.  This report examines how TMS became a frequently used treatment for depression in the United States despite what the research of the last decade shows about its very questionable effectiveness.  Although the process was atypical in several ways, the pathway to widespread TMS use illustrates how FDA’s willingness to ignore scientific evidence and their own scientific advisors can contribute to years of very expensive, questionable treatments for patients.

If you or someone you know is considering TMS, this report may save you thousands of dollars and a very discouraging experience.

 

Breast Implant Studies

Our New Report:  Breast Implant Illnesses: What’s the Evidence?
November 26, 2018

 

Debate swirls over the risks of breast implants, and physicians and patients are justifiably confused by the conflicting information available.  As concerns about breast implant safety die down, new controversies arise.  FDA discussions of complications focus on breast pain or hardness (called capsular contracture), implant rupture, and cosmetic problems in the breast area. And yet, more than 50,000 women with breast implants have reported that they have serious symptoms that they refer to as “breast implant illness.”  Our new report finds clear evidence that implants increase the chances of women developing those symptoms and removing implants can improve women’s health.  Unfortunately, the FDA has repeatedly reassured the public that “the FDA does not have evidence suggesting breast implants are associated with health conditions such as “chronic fatigue, cognitive issues and muscle pain.”

If you or someone you know has or are considering breast implants after mastectomy or for cosmetic reasons, you’ll want to read this report!